Editor’s note — The following statement was submitted by Larry Lyon of Waukee, the Democratic candidate for Dallas County Supervisor in district 2.
My wife, Lori, and I came to Waukee in 1996, when I started a small home remodeling company. This community has been very good to us and our three sons.
Service to my community has always been important to me. I served my first term on Waukee City Council from 1998 to 2000. I then served on the Waukee School Board for 11 years and returned to the city council in 2015. I have much experience managing and planning for growth at both the school and city level.
Planning for growth in Dallas County is my next goal.
Here’s what I believe:
I believe that Dallas County is a great place to live and it is going to continue to grow.
We must have a thoughtful plan for this growth and ensure the infrastructure is in place to accommodate that rapid growth. This will be accomplished through a combined effort of city and county stakeholders.
I believe that Dallas County leaders must create a Comprehensive Plan for Economic Development.
This plan must be focused on identifying, attracting and retaining a highly skilled and professional workforce.
We must also create a brand and Mission statement for Dallas County that will help us attract employers that provide quality jobs that pay a living wage. We must also attract entrepreneurs and small businesses because they are the fastest-growing segment of our economy. This plan should be created with input from our key county stakeholders, such as mayors, city councils, landowners and existing employers.
I believe that it is time to create a county manager position. For some time, there has been an effort to expand the Dallas County Board of Supervisors from three members to five. Another option would be to create a county manager position. Our county now has nearly 100,000 residents. If Dallas County were a city, it would likely have a city manager who directs the day-to-day activities of the city and makes recommendations to the mayor and city council.
I believe Dallas County should employ a similar model. A county manager would be responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the county and the efficient management of existing resources. The county manager would also implement the vision for growth laid out by the supervisors.
I believe that we must not lose sight of the fact that we are still a rural County. Our farmers must have adequately maintained farm-to-market roads, and our rural families must have access to broadband services.
I believe that Dallas County’s leaders should work with our city leaders to provide affordable housing. Anyone who wants to live in our county should be able to do so.
I believe that all COVID data that the Dallas County Public Health Department receives from any source should be immediately available to the public. Our citizens deserve to be fully and transparently informed.
I believe in promoting quality-of-life amenities. Our county should facilitate and encourage development of bike and water trails wherever possible and explore other recreational opportunities as well.
I believe in civility and respect. It is not necessary for me to disparage or diminish my opponent in this election process. I know my opponent well. He is a good man. I wouldn’t say anything about him on social media that I wouldn’t say to him in person. It will be up to the citizens of Dallas County to decide which of us will serve them best.
I believe that “community service is the rent we pay for service on this earth.” My Dad shared these words of wisdom with me years ago. My passion for community service is genuine but I also serve to honor him and the example he set for me.
Leadership is not easy. Not every decision I have made in public service has been right or popular. I also learned that it is impossible to make decisions that will make everyone happy all the time. I promise that every decision I make will be equitable and inclusive.
A friend of mine once said, “A good decision is one that leaves both sides equally disappointed.” There is some truth in that.
Please “Help me build the future” on Nov. 3. I welcome your input and comments at: Lyonforsupervisor@gmail.com